I organized my kitchen pantry with these air-tight storage containers and can finally see everything in my cabinets

I organized my kitchen pantry with these air-tight storage containers and can finally see everything in my cabinets
Sally Kaplan

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  • I reorganized my kitchen pantry completely using these airtight containers by Zeppoli, which are a great value and less expensive than sets from competitors like OXO.
  • My kitchen is now easier to navigate and cook in, and I waste a lot less now that I can see everything on the shelves.
  • Below, you can see the before and after photos of my pantry, and get a feel for how I approached reorganizing them.
  • Read more: How to organize your kitchen pantry

I cook almost every day. If I'm not cooking, I'm usually ordering dinner and simultaneously planning what I'll be cooking the next day.

But for someone who spends so much time in the kitchen (and who keeps a meticulously color-coded meal plan document to track my food prep and cooking schedule), you'd think my pantry shelves would at least be well-organized.

Well, they're not. Or at least, they weren't — until I started using these airtight food storage containers made by Zeppoli.


After dealing with bottles of baking powder and sprinkles and half-used boxes of pasta falling on my face every time I needed to get something out of the cupboard, I knew it was time to get my life together. My apartment is extremely well-organized, so there was no reason my pantry shouldn't be too.

I decided to do a complete pantry reorganization, and though I hoped it would look pretty enough for Pinterest, I really just wanted to make sure it was efficient, accessible, and actually easy to use.

The Zeppoli containers aren't cheap but they're cheaper than other brands and work just as well

The containers I used in my pantry aren't particularly cheap at $95 for a set of 15. They don't seem to be available anymore, but there is a smaller bundle at $30 for 5, which still works out to each container being about $6.

I used two of the 15-piece sets to completely reorganize my cabinets, but the five-piece set might be better if you don't keep as many items in your pantry. No matter which set you're able to find online, they're still comparatively less expensive than other brands like OXO, whose 10-piece set costs $100.

How I organized my kitchen cabinets with the Zeppoli containers


I started with what I call the "regular pantry" shelves, which include the dry ingredients I use most to cook dinners.

My first step to reorganizing was figuring out which items I wanted to be able to reach most easily (aka what I used the most, like pasta, beans, grains, etc.) because the top level of shelves requires me to stand on a step-stool to get to it.

I decanted pretty much all my grains, pasta (which was mostly half-used boxes of pasta!), and legumes, and placed all my partially used, tiny baggies of extra spices and seaweed into one container for safe-keeping. I kept a lot of the items in their original packing because they stack nicely and didn't need to be decanted. I even doubled up on types of ingredients in some of the containers by putting them in plastic baggies first — that way I didn't need an entire container each for two different half-used bags of lentils.

Some of the containers were too tall for my shelves (which I had no patience to rearrange), so I just decided to tip them on their sides and stack them that way. I didn't label them because I'm familiar enough with my ingredients to be able to tell the difference easily, but you could certainly do that with a label maker or with some regular masking tape.

Before-and-after photos of another kitchen cabinet


In my other cabinet, which I call my "baking pantry," I decanted all my flours, sugars, seeds, popcorn, and cereal grains. This is the part in the story where I realize I had six half-used containers of oatmeal — how did I let it come to this?!

Behind the first layer of boxes and containers on each shelf in the photo on the left were a ton of partially used ingredients and bulk bags from Whole Foods shoved into corners. I found things from two years ago that I wish I hadn't.

After I organized these cabinets and threw out expired ingredients, I found I had a lot of partially used baggies and packets of items like starches and yeast, so I kept one container where all the random small stuff could fit. I also left unopened boxes and bags on the top shelf so I could put them into containers when needed.

Here's what the top of my fridge looks like now

I organized my kitchen pantry with these air-tight storage containers and can finally see everything in my cabinets
Business Insider / Sally Kaplan

The last step to my reorganization process was getting the top of the fridge sorted.


I had previously kept some combination of cereal, mixing bowls, blenders, hand mixers, waffle makers, etc. up there, but it was a disaster waiting to happen. And one time, it did — a glass mixing bowl fell when I opened the freezer and shattered everywhere.

I found space for all my gadgets in the cabinets under my counter, and I moved all the cereal I had just bought or uncovered in my pantry into the larger containers. I also put some of my frequently used baking items up there, too, since the larger container didn't fit well into my baking pantry. I created a designated space for mixing bowls, and now I no longer worry about getting a concussion when I open the freezer.

The bottom line

I know it may seem like a superfluous expense, but these containers have really made an impact on my daily life.

I spend less time worrying about where things are, rearranging ingredients to try to find something in the back of the cabinet, or shoving things back in after they've fallen out. I'm able to save money by not letting ingredients go to waste or expire in the back of the pantry, and overall, I just feel calmer while navigating my kitchen space.

It's also made cooking and meal planning a lot more fluid and less frustrating since I can easily see everything. I know exactly what I have in my pantry, and I build meals around those ingredients first to avoid buying extras.


If you're looking to reorganize your pantry, I definitely recommend these cost-effective containers.

Read the original article on Business Insider